Articles pass at special town meeting

by Town Reminder

Articles pass at special town meeting
By Walter Hamilton

GRANBY – A special town meeting last Monday at Granby Junior-Senior High School passed three articles by wide margins, according to Select Board Chair Mark Bail.
Voters gave permission to the Board of Selectmen and Board of Assessors to negotiate a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement for a proposed solar array on property owned by Westover Metropolitan Development Corp. Houses on the site were sold to WMDC and demolished because they were under the airport flight path.
A second special Town Meeting approval would be needed to allow the town to enter into any contract thus negotiated with the company. That contract would specify how much the town would receive each year over a 20-year period, Because the land is now owned by the tax-exempt WMDC, the town receives no tax revenue from them.
Voters also:
– Added $10,000 to the Highway Department expense budget for pay for equipment repairs that became necessary with the severe weather conditions this winter. Martin said the extra money is not needed for snow removal because this year’s snow removal budget has not yet been exhausted; and
– With a few dissenting votes, despite its endorsement by the Finance Committee, voters agreed to add $85,000 to the current School Department budget. The figure includes $40,000 that was needed to repair a major burst of a water pipe and associated asbestos removal at West Street School, and another $45,000 to pay unexpected out-of-district tuition costs for three special needs children.
The meeting was attended by 55 voters, well above the minimum of 30 needed for a quota.
Town Administrator Christopher Martin has said it is important for the PILOT process get underway as soon as possible so the Planning Board could begin its deliberations of a special permit for the project.
Dr. Herb Abelson commended the Highway Department for its good work this winter and there was a round of applause, Bail said.